After a grueling 7 hours and 8 minutes, the Miami Dolphins are 1-0 to begin the 2018 campaign. With all the craziness of the weather, this game came down to the 4th quarter and the Dolphins proved they were the better team. Here are the report cards for this week:
Tannehill finished 20/28, 230 yards, 8.9 YPA, 2 TDs and 2 INTs. This grade would have been higher if not for the bad interceptions and the offense going 1 for 5 in the RedZone. But keep in mind, this was his first game back in 636 days where a team prepared against him. He was crisp and precise with his passes and as the Titans kept pressing at the line, Tannehill hit them with the deep ball. Job well done by #17.
Running Backs: B+
This would easily be an A or higher but Gase stopped running the football late in the game (I will touch on that below). Drake finished with 49 yards on 14 touches and the ageless wonder finished with 61 yards on 9 carries. Overall, the unit averaged 4.1 yards per carry.
Wide Receivers: A
Great route running, finishing plays for first downs, nothing about this WR group was bad yesterday. With as sloppy and as wet as the football was, not many passes were dropped. With DeVante Parker on the mend, his return will only allow more diversity of touches through this group and teams will not know how to slow this down
Tight End: C-
Mike Gesicki was the only TE targeted in the passing game and had 1 catch for 11 yards. The grade is low because of the poorly thrown pass by Tannehill. A veteran, who would’ve been beat by the defender, would have taken an offensive PI to stop that INT. But in time, Gesicki will be a great player for the Dolphins.
Offensive Line: B
4 penalties drags this grade down. Overall, the performance was good. Open lanes for the running game, giving up only 1 sack. I would like to see less holding calls (3) in next week’s game. The team is built to succeed in short yardage downs, not 1st and 20 to go. All in all, the OL had a good outing.
Defensive Line: B+
They got after Mariota and completely shut down Derrick Henry (10 car, 26 yards). They did give up 116 yards on the ground but some of that was in garbage time when they were up 14 already. 0 sacks on the stat sheet but tons of pressure applied. Next week is rookie Sam Darnold, who we have yet to see play (plays tonight)
Kiko Alonso (6 tackles, 1 INT), Jerome Baker (6 tackles) and Raekwon McMillan (6 tackles) played well yesterday. Still need to cover the TE’s better though. All in all, a good game from the starting unit.
Holding the Titans QB’s to an under 40 rating, 2 INTs from Reshad Jones, a team leading 8 tackles from TJ McDonald and an amazing job from Howard, McCain, and Fitzpatrick really has this unit going. I am excited what Matt Burke will cook up for Sam Darnold next week.
Special Teams: B+
Jason Sanders did a great job overall (2-2 FG, 3 for 3 XP), Jakeem Grant had 102-yard return. The grade is lower because they also gave up a kickoff return for a touchdown when the game was 24-10, which allowed the Titans to get back into it. All in all, a solid performance.
This would be lower to be honest. I felt the RedZone play calling was awful and getting away from the run also didn’t help matters. Where this is grade stays an A is the exemplary job by the entire staff to keep the team motivated through 4 hours of delays. There is a lot to clean up from this game but there were a ton of positives as well. 1-0 is a good start to the season, but the Dolphins need to continue to win the games they are supposed to. The Jets and the Raiders may have the Dolphins looking at a very good record heading into New England, but it all depends on the result next week. One game at a time!
Want to also send a big kudos to the fans that stuck through the 4 hours of delays, even the ones that sat through the first 1. Dolphins fans be proud and stand tall. The national media can blast this fan base as much as they want, but many stuck through it and stayed to watch the team take home a victory.
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